The winner of the USMS bitcoins auction has been revealed as Tim Draper, founder of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The revelation brings much closure to the mystery behind the identity of the winning bidder. The announcement was made on the Medium blog by Avish Bhama, CEO of Varaum, a bitcoin exchange which counts Draper among its key investors.
Varaum endeavors to provide high performance exchange and storage solutions to financial institutions. They have also reportedly launched trading platforms in emerging markets, regions which Draper feels are left vulnerable by “weak currencies”. Said Draper:
“Bitcoin frees people from trying to operate in a modern market economy with weak currencies. With the help of Vaurum and this newly purchased bitcoin, we expect to be able to create new services that can provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies.”
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Of course, no one is totally secure in holding their own country’s currency. We want to enable people to hold and trade bitcoin to secure themselves against weakening currencies.”
Draper hosted a press conference where he focused more on the future of Bitcoin and his future investment plans, and less on the recent auction. He said that his next fund will have a “high concentration of Bitcoin companies”.
On his interactions with USMS, Draper was somewhat disappointed by the USMS insisting to make on lump transfer. For the purposes of anonymity and security, Draper had preferred for it to be split. Critics of the USMS handling of the auction will point out that anonymity has not been their priority, evidenced by their leaking of participant e-mails which reportedly led to a theft of bitcoins.
With the auction winner’s identity known, the only remaining question is the winning price. When asked, he did not disclose the figure, only saying “I paid more than the other people in the auction.” It is not impossible that the amount paid was well above the market rate. One can say that this was more of a marketing play than a pure investment decision, and it can be argued that the positive publicity will yield dividends in the future.